116th Congress breaks records for women, minority lawmakers

The 116th Congress is making history with a record number of women and many lawmakers breaking racial and religious barriers.

The numbers of African-American, Hispanic and Asian-American lawmakers are at new highs, as is the number of lawmakers who are openly LGBT. The new Congress also includes a number of historic firsts, including the first Muslim women and first Native American women to serve.

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The differences between the two parties, though, are stark, with most of the women and an overwhelming number of minority lawmakers on the Democratic side.

Here’s a breakdown of the voting members of the 116th Congress.

Women

The number of women in Congress is at a record high at 127, up from 110 in the last session.

A quarter of the Senate is now female. Of those 25 senators, 17 are Democrats and 8 are Republicans. In the House, there are 102 female lawmakers, with 89 Democrats and 13 Republicans.

The midterms also brought a wave of historic firsts, with Reps. Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyHaitians stuck in Texas extend Biden's immigration woes Advocates 'in utter disbelief' after Biden resumes Haitian repatriations Democratic bill would force Fed to defund fossil fuels MORE (D-Mass.) and Jahana HayesJahana HayesBipartisan lawmakers highlight COVID-19 impact on mental health, addiction Overnight Health Care: White House acknowledges it will fall short of July 4 vaccine goal | Fauci warns of 'localized surges' in areas with low vaccination rates | Senate Finance leader releases principles for lowering prescription drug prices The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Democrats await Manchin decision on voting rights bill MORE (D-Conn.) becoming the first African-American women to represent their states in Congress. Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarOcasio-Cortez, Bush push to add expanded unemployment in .5T spending plan Enough with the GDP — it's time to measure genuine progress Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — Democrats eye potential carbon price in reconciliation bill MORE (D-Minn.) became the first Somali-American to serve, and with Rep. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibDemocratic bill would force Fed to defund fossil fuels Democrats brace for battle on Biden's .5 trillion spending plan 'Squad' members call on Biden to shut down Line 3 pipeline in Minnesota MORE (D-Mich.), was among the first Muslim women. Reps. Veronica EscobarVeronica EscobarCourt rulings put Biden in tough spot with Trump's 'Remain in Mexico' policy Supreme Court ruling on Texas abortion law rattles lawmakers Sunday shows - Biden domestic agenda, Texas abortion law dominate MORE (D) and Sylvia GarciaSylvia GarciaOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Manchin: key energy provision of spending package 'makes no sense' Six moderate Democrats raise concerns about spending bill's energy measures Democrats introduce equal pay legislation for US national team athletes MORE (D) also made history as Texas’s first Latina lawmakers. In California, Nevada, Arizona, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Washington, women hold both Senate seats.

African-Americans

The new Congress is set to have 55 African-American lawmakers in the House and Senate, up from 49 in the previous term.

Rep. Lauren UnderwoodLauren UnderwoodOvernight Hillicon Valley — Hacking goes global Report pushes for changes to diversify 'homogeneous' US cybersecurity workforce Biden's midterm strategies start to come into focus MORE (D-Ill.) became the youngest black woman elected to Congress at age 32.

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According to Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Chairwoman Karen BassKaren Ruth BassDOJ announces agencywide limits on chokeholds and no-knock entries The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by AT&T - Supreme Court lets Texas abortion law stand Bass says she is 'seriously considering' running for LA mayor MORE (D-Calif.), the CBC will also have a record number of members at 55, including two nonvoting delegates.

Rep. Will HurdWilliam Ballard HurdFirst Democrat jumps into key Texas House race to challenge Gonzales Will the real Lee Hamiltons and Olympia Snowes please stand up? The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden, Congress drawn into pipeline cyberattack, violence in Israel MORE (R-Texas) will be the only black Republican in the House. In the upper chamber, there are three African-Americans: Democratic Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisRepublicans caught in California's recall trap Harris facilitates coin toss at Howard University football game Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol MORE (Calif.) and Cory BookerCory BookerDOJ announces agencywide limits on chokeholds and no-knock entries Fighting poverty, the Biden way Top Senate Democrats urge Biden to take immediate action on home confinement program MORE (N.J.), and Republican Sen. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottDOJ announces agencywide limits on chokeholds and no-knock entries Lobbying world As Biden falters, a two-man race for the 2024 GOP nomination begins to take shape MORE (S.C.)

Hispanics

Congress boasts a record number of Hispanic lawmakers in the current term, at 45.

The total includes 41 in the House and four senators.

The star of the freshman class is Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOn The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Pelosi plows full speed ahead on jam-packed agenda Photos of the Week: Renewable energy, gymnast testimonies and a Met Gala dress Ocasio-Cortez, Bush push to add expanded unemployment in .5T spending plan MORE (D-N.Y.), who has quickly become a progressive icon.

Escobar and Garcia made history as the first Hispanic women elected to Congress from Texas. Rep. Lori TrahanLori A. TrahanFacebook draws lawmaker scrutiny over Instagram's impact on teens Fusion power and public-private partnerships Democrats urge online platforms to extend UK child protections to US MORE (D-Mass.) is the first Portuguese-American woman to be elected to Congress.

The 116th Congress is set to have the largest Congressional Hispanic Caucus in history as it grows to 39 members, including 4 nonvoting members.

Asian-Americans

A record number of 17 Asian-Americans will be serving in this Congress, with 14 in the House and three in the Senate.

Among the notable firsts is Rep. Andy Kim (D), who became the first Asian-American ever elected to Congress from New Jersey. 

According to the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, Kim and Rep. TJ Cox (D-Calif.) bring the total number of Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders to a historic 20 members. That number includes three nonvoting delegates.

LGBT

The number of LGBT lawmakers is up to 10 from seven. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) joins Sen. Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinWarren, Daines introduce bill honoring 13 killed in Kabul attack This week: Democrats kick off chaotic fall with Biden's agenda at stake Bottom line MORE (D-Wis.) in the Senate as the second openly LGBT member of the chamber.

In the House, there are four new LGBT members: Reps. Angie Craig (D-Minn.), Sharice DavidsSharice DavidsNY Democrat tests positive for COVID-19 in latest House breakthrough case Florida Democrat becomes latest breakthrough COVID-19 case in House Interior Secretary Haaland gets married in New Mexico MORE (D-Kan.), Katie HillKatherine (Katie) Lauren HillKatie Hill says 'it would take a lot' to convince her to run again for House The tale of the last bipartisan unicorns Maher chides Democrats: We 'suck the fun out of everything' MORE (D-Calif.) and Chris PappasChristopher (Chris) Charles PappasOvernight Energy & Environment — Democrats detail clean electricity program Scott Brown's wife files to run for Congress New Hampshire Republican Matt Mowers jumps into key House race, setting up 2020 rematch MORE (D-N.H.).

More religious diversity

Overwhelmingly, most members of Congress identify as Christian, but there are some notable exceptions.

Tlaib and Omar became the first two Muslim women to win seats in the House. They join André Carson (D-Ind.) and bring the total number of Muslims in Congress to three. Keith EllisonKeith EllisonMinnesota AG ups charges against ex-police officer in shooting of Daunte Wright Trump campaign, RNC refund donors another .8 million in 2021: NYT Attorneys general looking into online fundraising practices MORE, who is also Muslim, left Congress to serve as Minnesota attorney general.

The number of Jewish lawmakers in Congress rose from 30 to 34, with 26 in the House and 8 in the Senate. Only two are Republicans — Reps. Lee ZeldinLee ZeldinGovernors brace for 2022 after year in pandemic spotlight Republicans hit Biden over Afghanistan, with eye on midterms McCarthy: 'There will be a day of reckoning' for Biden MORE (N.Y.) and David KustoffDavid Frank KustoffREAD: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results Lobbying world Trump announces, endorses ambassador to Japan's Tennessee Senate bid MORE (Tenn.)

Three members of the House identify as Hindu, all of whom were reelected in November.

The 116th Congress will have two Buddhists, with Sen. Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoSenate Democrats to Garland: 'It's time to end the federal death penalty' Democrats warn shrinking Biden's spending plan could backfire Hillicon Valley: Facebook tightens teen protections | FBI cautions against banning ransomware payments | Republicans probe White House-social media collaboration MORE (D-Hawaii) in the Senate and Rep. Hank JohnsonHenry (Hank) C. JohnsonHillicon Valley: Senators want answers about Amazon's biometric data collection | House members release companion bill targeting app stores | Google files to dismiss Ohio lawsuit House members release companion bill targeting app stores Rep. Al Green, Texas state lawmaker arrested outside Capitol during voting rights protest MORE (D-Ga.) in the House.

Veterans

The 116th Congress includes 96 veterans, down six from the last Congress. There are 77 serving in the House and 19 in the Senate.

While the overall number is down, there are a record number of female former service members. Seven female veterans will serve in Congress, including Sens. Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthTop Republican: General told senators he opposed Afghanistan withdrawal Democrats brace for battle on Biden's .5 trillion spending plan Conservation group says it will only endorse Democrats who support .5T spending plan MORE (D-Ill.), Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstGOP senators unveil bill designating Taliban as terrorist organization More Republicans call on Biden to designate Taliban as terrorist group Top Republican: General told senators he opposed Afghanistan withdrawal MORE (R-Iowa) and Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by AT&T - Senate passes infrastructure bill, budget resolution; Cuomo resigns Schumer, Tim Scott lead as Senate fundraising pace heats up GOP group launches million ad campaign pressing Kelly on filibuster MORE (R-Ariz.) in the upper chamber and Reps. Mikie SherrillRebecca (Mikie) Michelle SherrillHouse panel approves B boost for defense budget Democrat unveils bill to allow only House members to serve as Speaker Six takeaways: What the FEC reports tell us about the midterm elections MORE (D-N.J.), Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.) and Elaine LuriaElaine Goodman LuriaConservative group targets Spanberger, Luria in new ads ahead of reconciliation bill Virginia races offer an early preview of Democrats' midterm challenges House panel approves B boost for defense budget MORE (D-Va.) in the House.